The multi-platinum rap artist-turned-actor is now juggling two equally successful careers in music and on screen. Shad “Bow Wow” Moss, 24, stars in Tyler Perry’s Madea’s Big Happy Family, which is his most mature role to date. In a story about a woman (Loretta Devine) whose dying wish is to see her squabbling family come together, Moss plays her youngest son Byron, just out of jail and trying to go straight. Howeve, he is feeling pressure from a child-support-demanding baby mama (Teyana Taylor) and money-hungry girlfriend (Lauren London) that might force him into dealing drugs again.
Moss, a big fan of Perry’s movies, approached the mogul at a Janet Jackson concert two and a half years ago and told the filmmaker he wanted to be in one of his movies. “And I guess he remembered because I got the call,” said Bow Wow.
As the only child of a single mother, Bow Wow has little in common with Byron’s family situation or his relationship woes. “None of that. I’m too smooth!” he laughs. But having lost his grandmother to cancer, he says the movie’s message hit home. “Tell people you love them before it’s too late. Cherish the moments you have, never take anything for granted and live every day like it’s your last.”
On the music side, he’s collaborating with Chris Brown, his mentor Snoop Dogg and Lil’ Wayne on an album called Underrated that he’ll release late this year or early next.
And, fortunately, the acting won't stop with Tyler Perry. Bow Wow will play a soldier who goes AWOL when he’s denied leave to see his cancer-stricken son in Recalled and will do the high school comedy The Lowenfish Party.
He eventually hopes to drop the “Bow Wow” from his acting credit, like Dwayne Johnson has eliminated “The Rock” from his, but stresses that acting and music are of equal importance to him.
“I feel like I could do anything I put my mind to,” says Moss, whose goal is “to be the best, continue to win. I’m living moment to moment and whatever it is that God has planned for me, that’s what it is. I just want to be healthy and continue to do this as long as God lets me do it.”
(Photo: Kevin Winter/Getty Images)